a real world point of view
|The Tomb of the Cybermen|
|Novelised as:||Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen|
|Script release:||The Tomb of the Cybermen|
|Main enemy:||The Cybermen, the Cyber-Controller, Cybermats, Kaftan, Eric Klieg|
|Main setting:||Telos, the 25th century|
|Writer:||Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis|
|Number of episodes:||4|
|Premiere broadcast:||2 September - 23 September 1967|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Evil of the Daleks||The Abominable Snowmen|
|Another memorable moment|
|Behind the scenes video|
The TARDIS arrives on the planet Telos, where an Earth archaeological expedition led by Professor Parry is trying to uncover the lost tombs of the Cybermen. With a lot of help from the Doctor, the archaeologists enter the tombs. There, one of the party, Klieg, reveals himself and his business partner, Kaftan, to be planning to revive the Cybermen.
He wants to use their strength, allied with the intelligence of his own Brotherhood of Logicians, to create an invincible force for conquest. It transpires however that the tomb is actually a giant trap designed to lure humans suitable for conversion into Cybermen - a fate that almost befalls Kaftan's assistant Toberman.
The Doctor and Jamie show their new travelling companion Victoria Waterfield the interior of the TARDIS, though she scarcely believes it can travel through time and space. As the ship takes off from Skaro, the group ready for their next adventure.
On the planet Telos, an archaeological expedition uses explosives to uncover the entrance to a city hidden in the side of a mountain. When a member of the expedition touches the huge metal doors, he is electrocuted. Immediately afterwards, the TARDIS lands nearby. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive on the scene. Captain Hopper, the expedition's pilot, holds them at gunpoint until the Doctor convinces them they had nothing to do with the death. John Viner, the assistant to expedition leader Parry, accuses the Doctor of being part of a rival expedition. Parry explains that they are here to find the remains of the Cybermen, who apparently died out centuries before. The expedition is funded by Kaftan, who is accompanied by her giant manservant, Toberman, and her colleague, Eric Klieg. The Doctor, now that he knows the Cybermen are involved, decides to accompany the group. He uses a small device to check that the doors are safe, and Toberman's great strength swings them open. Entering the darkened inner chamber, they find a control panel with a series of levers and switches, large, hidden doors and a sealed hatch. The Doctor opens the doors using the levers, which operate on symbolic logic. Klieg is resentful that the Doctor is able to deduce this instead of him. The hatch, however, remains sealed, so the members of the expedition split up and explore.
In the control room, the Doctor gives Klieg the clue he needs to reactivate the controls to restore power to the base. Victoria, Viner and Kaftan come across a chamber with a sarcophagus-like box facing a projection device that was apparently used to revitalise the Cybermen. When Victoria curiously climbs into the sarcophagus, Kaftan operates the controls and seals Victoria in the sarcophagus. When Viner confronts her, she denies she did anything. The Doctor shows up and frees Victoria. In another room, Jamie and Peter Haydon find a small silver caterpillar-like object on the floor. When Haydon operates the control panel in the room, a wall lights up with a hypnotic pattern that puts Jamie into a trance. Haydon is fascinated with the technology and has Jamie rerun it. Before the Doctor can intervene, a Cyberman slides into view and a gun fires, killing Haydon.
The Cyberman slides out of sight again. The Doctor deduces that the room is a testing range, and that a gun at the back was shooting a mock-up Cyberman, and Haydon got in the way. Victoria finds the metal caterpillar, which the Doctor identifies as a cybermat, and advises her to leave it alone. Instead, she places it in her handbag. Parry now decides to abandon the expedition and return to Earth. At this point, however, Hopper returns and angrily reveals that someone has sabotaged the rocket ship — no one will be leaving until he can effect repairs and no one will be allowed aboard the ship until his crew has done so.
Klieg believes he has found the logical sequence to open the hatch, but fails again, until the Doctor surreptitiously presses an additional button, helping him along. Leaving Kaftan and Victoria behind, the others descend down the hatch. They find a vast chamber beneath, with a multistory structure containing cells of frozen Cybermen, entombed in suspended animation. Back in the control room, Kaftan has drugged Victoria's coffee and shuts the hatch. Klieg, in the meantime, has activated more controls in the tomb and the ice begins to melt. Klieg shoots Viner when the latter tries to stop him, and holds the rest at bay while they watch the Cybermen return to life. Klieg reveals his real agenda. He and Kaftan belong to the Brotherhood of Logicians, who possess great intelligence but no power. He is certain the Cybermen will be grateful for their revival and ally themselves with him, providing that power.
Back in the control room, Victoria has awoken and is being held at gunpoint by Kaftan. The cybermat in Victoria's handbag revives and attacks Kaftan, rendering her unconscious. Victoria grabs Kaftan's pistol and shoots the cybermat, but she doesn't know how to re-open the hatch. She leaves to find Hopper. Down in the tombs, the Cybermen file past the humans, ignoring them, and free their leader, the Cybercontroller, from his cell. When Klieg steps forward to take the credit for reviving them, the Cybercontroller grabs and crushes his hand, forcing him to his knees and declaring, "You belong to us. You will be like us."
The Cybermen recognise the Doctor, whose involvement in prior invasion attempts is recorded in their computer records. The Doctor realises that the tombs were an elaborate trap. The Cybermen were waiting for beings intelligent enough to decipher the controls needed to free them. The expedition will be converted into Cybermen in preparation for a new invasion of Earth; and Klieg, to his horror, will be the first.
In the control room, Hopper and Jim Callum have figured out the electronics that will open the hatch. Hopper descends into the tombs, and uses smoke grenades to distract the Cybermen while the humans make their escape. They barely manage to scramble back to the control room and shut the hatch before the Cybermen can follow. Toberman, however, is left behind. Klieg and Kaftan are moved into the testing range to keep them out of mischief while the others decide on their next course of action. There, Klieg pries a weapon out of the hands of the Cyberman target, an X-ray laser he calls a cyber-gun. Outside, the expedition is threatened by cybermats released by the Cybermen below. The Doctor manages to rig electrical cables from the control panel to create a magnetic field that disables the cybermats. Even as one threat is eliminated, Klieg and Kaftan step out, armed with the cyber-gun, which Klieg fires.
Klieg hits Callum in the shoulder, and tells the others that he can still negotiate with the Cybermen. Klieg opens the hatch and calls for the Cybercontroller. The Cybercontroller climbs up, accompanied by Toberman, who, unknown to the others, has been partially cyberconverted and is under Cyberman control. The Cybercontroller moves slowly, as his energy is running low — in fact, most of the Cybermen have been ordered back to their tombs to conserve power. Holding the cybergun on the Cybercontroller, Klieg says he will allow it to be revitalised in the sarcophagus if the Cybermen help him conquer the Earth. The Cybercontroller agrees. Unfortunately, once revitalised, the Cybercontroller is too strong and breaks out of the sarcophagus. Telepathically signalling Toberman, the latter reveals his true allegiances and knocks Klieg unconscious. The Cybercontroller, in turn, picks up Klieg's cyber-gun and kills Kaftan when she tries to block its return to the tombs.
The death of his mistress, however, seems to shake Toberman out of his controlled state. Toberman struggles with the Cybercontroller and hurls it into a control panel, apparently killing it. The Doctor wants to make sure the Cybermen are no longer a threat, and goes back down into the tombs with Toberman and Jamie. Klieg regains consciousness and sneaks down with the cybergun while the others tend to Callum. He forces the Doctor away from the controls that will refreeze the Cybermen, declaring that he will be the new Controller, and revives them again. Klieg intends to turn the three over to the Cybermen for spare parts, but even as he says this, a revived Cyberman throttles Klieg from behind and kills him. Toberman fights and kills this Cyberman and the Doctor freezes the other Cybermen, hopefully for good this time. Hopper's crew have repaired the ship and they can leave at any time. The Doctor ushers the others out as he sets up a circuit to electrify the control panel and the doors, to prevent anyone from entering the city again. The Cybercontroller, however, is still alive, and lurches forward. Outside, Toberman uses his bare hands to shut the doors, struggling with the Cybercontroller one last time. He succeeds, completing the circuit, and both he and the Cybercontroller are electrocuted and killed. Parry and Hopper return to their ship after saying good-bye to the Doctor and his companions. No one notices a lone cybermat, moving along the ground outside the doors to the city…
- The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
- Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
- Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling
- Eric Klieg - George Pastell
- Kaftan - Shirley Cooklin
- Toberman - Roy Stewart
- Professor Parry - Aubrey Richards
- John Viner - Cyril Shaps
- Jim Callum - Clive Merrison
- Captain Hopper - George Roubicek
- Ted Rogers - Alan Johns
- Peter Haydon - Bernard Holley
- Crewman - Ray Grover
- Cyber-Controller - Michael Kilgarriff
- Cybermen - Hans de Vries, Tony Harwood, John Hogan, Richard Kerley, Ronald Lee, Charles Pemberton, Kenneth Seeger, Reg Whitehead
- Cybermen Voices - Peter Hawkins
- Assistant Floor Manager - Sue Willis, Catherine Sykes
- Costumes - Sandra Reid, Dorothea Wallace
- Designer - Martin Johnson
- Film Cameraman - Peter Hamilton
- Film Editor - Alan Martin
- Make-Up - Gillian James
- Producer - Peter Bryant
- Production Assistant - Snowy Lidiard-White
- Script Editor - Victor Pemberton
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Graham Sothcott
- Studio Sound - Brian Hiles
- Senior Cameraman - Peter Ward
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Michealjohn Harris, Peter Day
- The Doctor has a book that he looks in to verify what the Cybermat is. There are two sizes of Cybermats.
- The Cybermen have been frozen for five hundred years and they are familiar with the Doctor.
- Telos has a rarified atmosphere and is the (current) home planet of the Cybermen, though they originated on Mondas.
- The Doctor says he is about four hundred fifty years old ("in Earth years").
- The Doctor tells Victoria he has to try hard to remember his family; this is the first on-screen reference made to the Doctor having family (besides Susan), a theme to be touched upon several times later.
- The Doctor compares the TARDIS to the simple time travel experiments of Victoria's father, but says that he has 'perfected' it.
- It is only because of the Doctor's intervention that the expedition is able to get into the base, and he also helps Krieg without the latter's knowledge to open the hatch.
- In this story the Cybermats were remote-controlled and pull-back-and-go designs. (DOC: Tombwatch)
- This story had the working titles of The Ice Tombs of Telos and The Cybermen Planet.
- This serial was believed lost in 1978 (when the BBC's film archive was first properly audited, although it is absent on earlier 1976 listings) until film telerecordings of all four episodes were returned to the BBC by the Hong Kong television company ATV (formerly called RTV) in late 1991. The serial was released, to much fan excitement and with a specially recorded introduction by director Morris Barry, on VHS in May 1992.
- Toberman was originally intended to be deaf, hence his lack of significant speech; his hearing aid would foreshadow his transformation into a Cyberman. These elements were included in the novelisation.
- Actress Shirley Cooklin (Kaftan) was married to producer Peter Bryant. Her character was written especially for her by Gerry Davis.
- This is the earliest Patrick Troughton era serial and the only serial featuring Deborah Watling to exist in its entirety.
- Peter Bryant, who had previously been assistant to Gerry Davis and been newly promoted to script editor on the preceding story, was allowed to produce this serial to test if he could take over from Innes Lloyd as producer later in the season. Bryant's own assistant, Victor Pemberton, acted as script editor on this serial, but left the series after production of the serial was finished. He did not want to be a script editor. When Bryant's eventual promotion to producer came, Derrick Sherwin became script editor.
- Matt Smith, who currently portrays the Eleventh Doctor, has stated several times that this serial is his favourite Doctor Who story.
- The serial begins the semi-recurring tradition of Cybermen stories being titled '...of the Cybermen' (similar to many Dalek stories being titled '...of the Daleks', but less frequent). This is also used in TV: Revenge of the Cybermen, TV: Attack of the Cybermen, TV: Rise of the Cybermen, COMIC: The Power of the Cybermen, COMIC: Time of the Cybermen, AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen, GAME: Blood of the Cybermen and PROSE: Plague of the Cybermen.
- The story was chosen by BBC America to represent the Patrick Troughton era during their 50th anniversary programming. Edited into an omnibus format, it was aired by BBCA on 24 February 2013, after the debut of their homegrown special called, The Doctors Revisited - The Second Doctor.
- Episode 1 - 6.0 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 6.4 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 7.2 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 7.4 million viewers
- The only surviving copy of this story is slightly edited. (The prints in the BBC's archives are complete and unedited. Editing was done to it for DVD release, but only to clean up the footage)
- A Cyberman head from this story was stolen around the same time as a BBC producer quit outside the Doctor Who production office.
- Most of the story was recorded in Lime Grove Studios (Studio D), Lime Grove, London.
- Additional recording at Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing.
- The scenes on the surface of Telos were recorded at Gerrards Cross Sand and Gravel Pit at Waspey's Woods in Buckinghamshire.
- In episode one, the Doctor and Jamie hold one of the tomb doors closed with their feet.
- A Cyberman uses a visible harness to lift Toberman over his head. The DVD production notes imply that this was less obvious on the non-remastered version of the story. In the remastered DVD release, the wires holding up the Cyberman that Toberman throws are clearly visible.
- Toberman returns the favour in episode four by spinning a dummy Cybercontroller.
- The Cybermen retreat into their tombs backwards, the film having been reversed.
- Just after Toberman throws the Cybercontroller onto the control panel, it is visible for a brief second that the helmet has come loose and is flapping.
- Episode two ends with the Cybercontroller crushing Klieg's arm and saying, "You belong to us. You shall be like us." As episode three begins, it says the same thing, but in a much higher pitch, which is kept through the rest of the story.
- The beginning of this serial follows directly from the end of the previous story. The Doctor also compares the TARDIS to the time travel attempts made by Victoria's father in that story. (TV:The Evil of the Daleks)
- The Doctor returned to Telos in the Sixth Doctor story TV: Attack of the Cybermen, in which he also encounters the Cryons, the original inhabitants of the planet.
- The events of TV: The Moonbase are mentioned.
- It was later discovered that multiple tombs existed across the galaxy, including ones converted from human colonies. (AUDIO: The Crystal of Cantus)
- Telos was destroyed by an asteroid impact at some point prior to or during the 26th century. However, the Master Hibernation Vault survived the destruction of the planet. (AUDIO: Telos)
- The Doctor would later encounter Cybermats again. (TV: Revenge of the Cybermen, Closing Time)
Home video and audio releases
Released as Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen, this was the first of the releases for 2002. It marked the first photomontage cover art by Clayton Hickman, which replaced the generic photo cover art of earlier releases from this point on.
- PAL - BBC DVD - BBCDVD1032
- NTSC - Warner Video E1181
- The UK DVD release was rated PG, due to a mistaken attribution of "some mild sex, nudity"
- The American DVD cover mistakenly credits the writing of this story to Robert Holmes. This happened due to a previous DVD release cover being used as a template. [source needed]
- The DVD contains a VidFIREd clip from the story as an Easter Egg. This was included as a test to determine how successfully the VidFIRE process would survive MPEG-2 encoding. This was the first time any footage from the 1960s episodes had been publicly released in this way; all Hartnell and Troughton stories released from here on (with the exception of some lower-quality footage in the Lost in Time set) would go through this process. The story was re-released with the VidFIRE treatment applied to all of it in 2012.
- Introduction by Morris Barry from the BBC Video release of 1992.
- Late Night Line-Up - Jack Kine discusses the BBC Visual Effects department's work on Doctor Who (25 November 1967).
- Tombwatch - Highlights of the BAFTA screening of the story in April 1992.
- The Final End - 8mm footage of the end of The Evil of the Daleks.
- Titles Sequence Test Footage
- Restoration - A short feature on the restoration of the DVD.
- Photo Gallery
- Production Subtitles
- Easter Eggs (Short clip done using VidFIRE/Audio of trailer for The Abominable Snowmen)
- Commentary: Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling
- Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
A special edition of The Tomb of the Cybermen DVD was released in Revisitations 3 boxset, released in 2011. The other stories in the boxset set were The Three Doctors and The Robots of Death. Extras featured on the special edition include a new commentary, two new documentaries (Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb and Lost Giants), a promo TV spot, a documentary on the VidFIRE treatment on the story and an extended version of the 'Cybermen' documentary which was originally released in the 2009 new series Cybermen collection. For this release the story's original video look was restored via VidFIRE technology, something that wasn't done for the 2002 DVD release.
- PAL - BBC Video BBCV4772
- NTSC- Warner Video E1181
Notes: The video includes a special video interview with director Morris Barry, speaking about its recent recovery.
The episode was also released on audio formats.
- In August 1989, Titan Books published the scripts for the serial as part of its Doctor Who: The Scripts line of books.
- The Tomb of the Cybermen at the BBC's official site
- The Tomb of the Cybermen at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of The Tomb of the Cybermen at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Tomb of the Cybermen at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Tomb of the Cybermen at The Locations Guide